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Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Hardcover – October 27, 1992
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Perhaps more than any other person, Marcella Hazan is responsible for bringing Italian cuisine into the homes of American cooks. We're not talking spaghetti and meatballs here--Hazan's cuisine consists of polenta, risotto, squid braised with tomatoes and white wine, sautéed swiss chard with olive oil and garlic.... Twenty years ago, when Hazan first exploded into the American consciousness with The Classic Italian Cook Book and More Classic Italian Cooking, such recipes were revolutionary. With time, however, these classic dishes have become much-beloved family favorites.
Now a new generation is ready to be introduced to Marcella Hazan's way with food, and in Essentials of Italian Cooking Hazan combines her two earlier works into one update and expanded volume. In addition to the delicious collection of recipes, this book serves as a basic manual for cooks of every skill level. Recipes have been revised to reduce fat content, and a whole new chapter full of fundamental information about herbs, spices, and cheeses used in Italian kitchens--as well as details on how to select specific ingredients--has been added. New chapters, new recipes--who could ask for more than Essentials of Italian Cooking?
From Publishers Weekly
In the language of cookbooks, the word "classic" is bandied about nearly as frequently as the terms "low-fat" and "no-cholesterol." In this case, however, the estimable Hazan ( More Classic Italian Cooking ) does indeed contribute a classic to the ever-increasing literature of Italian cuisine. A revision and update of her two previous "classic" Italian cookbooks (with more than 35 completely new recipes), this one includes recipes not "in pursuit of novelty, but of taste." As Hazan puts it, the book "is meant to be used as a kitchen handbook . . . for cooks of every level . . . who want an accessible and comprehensive guide to the products, the techniques, and the dishes that constitute imperishable Italian cooking." From marinated carrot sticks to sweet-and-sour tuna steaks, Trapani style, to tortellini with fish stuffing and polenta shortcake with raisins, dried figs and pine nuts, the outstanding recipes--many of them poetically simple--are too numerous to do justice to in few words. Included is a spirited discussion of squid and the essentials of preparing fresh pasta, gnocchi (potato dumplings), authentic risotto, frittate and polenta dishes. While writing from Venice, her home for much of the year, Hazan never fails to consider the availability of ingredients in the U.S., and never assumes that all readers understand complex methods or exotic terminology. This volume is the perfect gift for a new homemaker, a seasoned chef and all lovers of good food. Illustrated. 40,000 first printing; Home Style Book Club main selection, BOMC alternate.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
I just bought a pasta maker in order to try one of the sections of the book in wich she explains how to make pasta.
The cookbook arrived ahead of time and in perfect conditions.
I highly recommend it !!!
Marcella has had significant influence on Mary, and now on me. For Hazen, understanding Italian cooking begins with an appreciation for the importance of regional influence. Following that introduction is a tremendously illuminating 45 pages of "Fundamentals," discussing everything from developing "Flavors" to the selection & storage of flavor Components (e.g. Balsamic vinegar, Basil, Capers, Garlic, Extra virgin Olive Oil, Cheeses, Pasta, Meats, and on and on. These discussions are accompanied by illustrations and detailed instructions on how to create every dish you desire, plus advice on acquiring the right Equipment (e.g. Pasta machine, Food Mill, etc.), Tools & Baking necessities to achieve the Top Taste results you crave. The teaching tips (e.g. Filleting Breast of Chicken) continue through the many recipe offerings, helpfully divided by type of fish or meat being used. The book ends by describing "The Italian Art of Eating," with guidance on how to "Compose an Italian Menu: Principals & Examples." If your serious about Italian cooking, this book is a MUST!
The one downside that I've found is that sometimes I feel that she doesn't advise about how much spice to put onto something. That's fine, though. All the recipes I've tried (roast chicken, chicken cacciatore, a lot of pasta sauces, fish recipes, stuffed squid, multiple risottos, vegetable dishes...) have come out delicious. Well done!